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Return of the King, The, Sauron (Alan Howard (voice))

Site Rating: 63%
(ratings: 4)
Writeup Rating: 80%
(ratings: 4)
Film: Return of the King, The (2003)
Deceased Character: Sauron (Alan Howard (voice))
Archetype: Baddy (Major)
Killed by: Gollum (Andy Serkis)
Killed with: The One Ring

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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 9th Mar 2006

Kindly submitted by grimreaper

Prologue: Sauron is the source of all evil in Middle Earth, and it was by his hand that the one ring, master of all the rings of power, was created in the fires of Mount Doom. Sinking all of his hatred and will to rule into the ring, the spirit of the ring and Sauron became entwined, so that even when his physical form was killed by Isildur, he could not be destroyed until the ring was. He has been demoted to a more ethereal form though, currently residing at the top of the tower in Barad Dûr as a "great eye, wreathed in flame".

At this point in the film, the armies of Mordor have lost the mighty battle at Minas Tirith, capital of Gondor. While this was going on, Sam and Frodo were slowly approaching Mount Doom with the one ring, guided by the treacherous Gollum/Sméagol. Aragorn, now recognised as the rightful King of Gondor, leads an army to the Black Gates of Mordor in the hope of buying Frodo and Sam more time to destroy the ring. During the Battle of the Black Gate, Sam and Frodo make their way up Mount Doom, where the treacherous Gollum, who wants the ring for himself, attacks them. Sam repels Gollum, while Frodo reaches the entrance to the Crack of Doom.

However, the self-preservation of the ring is so powerful that Frodo's will fails and he refuses to throw the ring into the magma. Sam watches in shock as Frodo places the ring on his finger, becoming invisible. This alerts Sauron and the Nazgul to the location of the hobbits, and they fly with all haste towards Mount Doom. The fate of Middle Earth is uncertain: if Sauron recovers his ring, he will have the power to dominate Middle-Earth once again, and no alliance will be able to stop him.

Back at Mount Doom, Frodo is trying to sneak past Sam, when Gollum appears behind Sam and knocks him unconscious with a rock. Gollum then detects the visible footsteps Frodo is making on the floor and he leaps through the air and latches onto Frodo. The pair struggle, and Gollum searches for Frodo’s ring finger, and when he locates it, he bites it off and takes the ring. Frodo reappears and falls to the ground in agony; Gollum is elated, being in possession of the ring after all these long years.

In his jubilation though, Gollum does not notice Frodo getting up and advancing on him. Frodo is not prepared to give up the ring so easily and so he and Gollum struggle again for the ring. This time, the force of the struggling sends the pair of them falling over the ledge, and Gollum falls into the lava and burns up relatively quickly. The ring takes longer to melt, possibly due to the magic imbued in it, but more likely due to increase the dramatic tension. When it finally does melt, Sauron shrieks out one last spiritual scream before Barad Dûr collapses. The great eye shrinks in size before disappearing completely with a explosive blast of sound.

4 categories : Unique, Explosion, Vanishing Corpse, Magic

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Other Death Reviews for Return of the King, The (2003)

Denethor (John Noble)
Gollum (Andy Serkis)
Saruman (Christopher Lee)
Theoden (Bernard Hill)
Witchking of Angmar (Lawrence Makoare)
Sauron (Alan Howard (voice))

Last Updated: 1st Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 8442
This review has 15 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'Alexr' (reply to this comment)
If you read the books behind the movie, it becomes clear that Sauron has so much bad karma as a result of the countless thousands of horrendously evil deeds he has done over the course of long ages that nothing less than a spectacular death will do. Not even the slightest trace of his evil should be left in Middle Earth by the time it is complete. Jackson delivers, with the the most satisfying demise in cinematic history.
Comment 2 by 'Peter' (reply to this comment)
How could gollum kill Sauron. Gollum's death was accidental so Frodo really finshed off Sauron.Yah!!!!!! Read the lotr books if you think I'm wrong and the Hobbit
Comment 3 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
Gollum's death is the moment that destroys Sauron. If he hadn't fell in with the ring... Well you get the idea. [/Karl_Eicholtz_13]
Comment 4 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
Comment 5 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
No, that was me parodying the fact I was doing a "if xxx didn't happen, xxx wouldn't have died" post, much like bad ol' Earl.
[quote Peter]Read the lotr books if you think I'm wrong and the Hobbit[/quote]And obviously someone hasn't read the FAQ.
Comment 6 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
It's "Karl" not "Earl", that's why he didn't get the reference smiling smiley
Comment 7 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
Oh. My bad. :blush:
Comment 8 by 'Monk' (reply to this comment)
What about falling and accidental. The tower broke in half so the top half with sauron on it fell right before he exploded. Surely I don't need to explain accidental.
Comment 9 by 'PH' (reply to this comment)
Sauron didn't die, rather he lost so much of himself with the destruction of the One Ring that he was literally unable to affect the world any more. Tolkien himself mentions this in the novels. So, really, this is more of an uttermost defeat, rather than a death, per se.
Comment 10 by 'Tom Walsh' (reply to this comment)
I do believe that Gollum is indirectly for the destruction of the One Ring and thus Sauron since think about it: if Gollum didn't arrive at Mt. Doom when he did to retrieve his "precious" Frodo would have kept the One Ring for himself, not destroyed it and allowed Sauron to steadily regain power and eventually take over the Middle-Earth.

Also an earlier post stated that Sauron did not perish and merely just got so much power taken away to the point of no return. That is not true, it's only true in the book. In the film it's strongly implied that the Eye of Sauron is the only remaining part of him and in the Extended Edition it's outright stated that if he has to manifest himself into two forms both of which can't leave Mordor: the Mouth of Sauron which is slayed by Aragorn and the Eye of Sauron which kicks the bucket as mentioned here. Sauron is killed in the film, not in the book. Also it has been speculated that Sauron may be living in the tower and cannot leave which I do believe. If that case is true than he's still dead since last time I checked being trapped inside a tower that structurally collapses in a flood of lava is kinda fatal.
Comment 11 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
I'm pretty sure Sala Baker voices Sauron, not Alan Howard. I saw it on Wikipedia.
Comment 12 by 'Matrim' (reply to this comment)
Jackson delivers, with the the most satisfying demise in cinematic history

A tower falling down and a silly CGI eye looking around in a worried state? I'm sorry, but your standards are pretty low if THAT's the most satisfying demise in cinematic history. When I think of the death of Sauron, I think of this passage:

The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of him, and his Eye piercing all shadows looked across the plain to the door that he had made; and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, and all the devices of his enemies were at last laid bare. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom now hung.

From all his policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all his stratagems and wars his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his slaves quailed, and his armies halted, and his captains suddenly steerless, bereft of will, wavered and despaired. For they were forgotten. The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them was now bent with overwhelming force upon the Mountain.

The movie never imparted the same sense of awe or showed the terror that the Dark Lord felt, it never did justice to the book. It was a fairly weak end to an otherwise decent series.
Comment 13 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
Amen. I can't help but feel that by the end of the movie any villain but Sauron would've been an awesome main antagonist. He was just an eye. Other main antagonists in the movie include one of the biggest badasses in history (the Witch-King), a corrupt asshole (Denethor), a deformed Orc who led an army of 20-mile-tall elephants (Gothmog), a genocidal asshole who filled the role of villain masterfully for most of the series (Saruman), a deformed... thing (Gollum) and hell even Shelob and Gorbag could've done a better job.
Comment 14 by 'OINK' (reply to this comment)
Give me a specific scenario of how to show that on the movie screen. Movies are not a good medium for giving a direct insight into a character's mind. You have to demonstrate it graphically.
Comment 15 by 'Giga Bytes7' (reply to this comment)
IMO both Frodo and Gollum killed Sauron. They were fighting, fell over the edge, Gollum and ring fell into lava. Interesting to note Sauron's page says "killed by Gollum", while Gollum's page says "killed by Frodo", but the same fall killed both Gollum and Sauron.

PH, Sauron may not have died in the book, but he did in the movie. Gandalf mentions Sauron's life force being bound to the ring. The movie has its share of changes from the book. Like the way and the time Wormtongue kills Saruman in Isengard instead of the Shire, also it being Legolas who kills Wormtongue in the movie and three hobbits in the book